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Beethoven: Die Ruinen von Athen / Segerstam, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra


Release Date: 02/28/2020 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8574076  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Reetta HaavistoJuha Kotilainen
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic OrchestraChorus Cathedralis Aboensis
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Die Ruinen von Athen (‘The Ruins of Athens’) was composed to celebrate the opening of the new German theatre in Pest in 1812. Designed to accompany the play of that name by August von Kotzebue, its incidental music is substantial enough to form a kind of one-act Singspiel and is full of attractive arias, duets and choruses and includes the famous Turkish March. Though the work’s theme was rooted in Greek mythology, in reality it was explicitly political in nature, celebrating Pest as ‘the new Athens.’ This is the first ever recording of the work with full narration. Die Ruinen von Athen (‘The Ruins of Athens’) was composed to celebrate the opening of the new German theatre in Pest in 1812. Designed to accompany the play of that name by August von Kotzebue, its incidental music is substantial enough to form a kind of one-act Singspiel and is full of attractive arias, duets and choruses and includes the famous Turkish March. Though the work’s theme was rooted in Greek mythology, in reality it was explicitly political in nature, celebrating Pest as ‘the new Athens.’ This is the first ever recording of the work with full narration. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Die Weihe des Hauses, Op. 124 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Reetta Haavisto (Soprano), Juha Kotilainen (Bass)
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis
Period: Classical 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 wonderful and rare treat! December 12, 2020 By J. John R Brauer (Fish Creek, WI) See All My Reviews "In 1963 I bought a record of Ruins of Athens that I still have. It is in a plain white sleeve with the words Rarities Collection and Limited Edition and no notes. The label lists the selections which are by the Netherlands Philharmonic under Walter Goehr. The mono sound is quite poor, but I LOVED the music. Now this new CD by the Turku Philharmonic is the long-awaited treat just in time for Beethoven's 250th birthday. The performances by the orchestra, choir, and soloists are fantastic and the sound is excellent. Beethoven is at his best with wonderfully touching vocal solos and a gorgeous duet, along with exciting choral and orchestral movements. The music features exotic Turkish touches and Beethoven at one point calls for "all possible noisy instruments." My congratulations go to all who produced this CD." Report Abuse
 World Premiere Recording (Including Narration) September 1, 2020 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Beethoven's music for 2 theater productions make up this recent Naxos release. The main work is a world premiere setting of "The Ruins of Athens," and it is the first recorded version with a full chorus and speakers providing dialog. Lasting 52 minutes, the work was written and produced to celebrate the opening of a new German theater in the Hungarian city of Pest (today's Budapest)in 1812. The 16 tracks comprising "The Ruins of Athens" alternate between orchestral interludes, orchestra with chorus, and dialog in the German language. Several orchestral sections are well-known, such as Turkish March, which can stand alone as a concert piece. All of this is preceded by 3 selections from "The Consecration of the House," which marked the 1822 opening of a new theater in Vienna. My interpretation of Keith Anderson's excellent notes is that "The Consecration of the House is essentially a strongly revised score of "The Ruins of Athens," featuring a new and majestic overture. Overall, I think this was (and is) a very worthwhile effort, with excellent work by all concerned- speakers, chorus, and of course Finland's excellent Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. It would have been nice to have a written text available to follow the spoken German dialog; however, the notes provide enough explanation to maintain some semblance of continuity as the work progresses. This may be a rather unfamiliar side of Beethoven to anyone not already acquainted with these works, but it is still Beethoven! 'Nuff said." Report Abuse
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